by Erle Kelly

Arms of a Botero woman,
her thick limbs stretch out,
giving shade, coolness;
nemesis to flower or plant
that cannot outlast
the shadow she casts.
Fern, calla lily, impatiens,
staghorn, clivia, primrose thrive.
Periwinkle, cosmos, marigold,
poppy struggle for light.
Her  scented petals
tower above her domain,
difficult to see, out of reach.
She sheds spiny brown cones
as her only gift.
When laced,
this eighty-year old
madam of the yard
rests the eye,
cuts intricate patterns
with clouds against
red twilight sky.

“Magnolia Rules” and other poetry by Erle Kelly will appear in the Silver Birch Press Green Anthology, a collection of poetry and prose from writers living in the U.S., U.K., Europe, and Africa — available March 15, 2013.

Photo: “Giant Magnolia” by Kerri Ivy, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED